Great moments of Greek(lish) rock, pt.2: Reflections of Genius

Manos Hadjidakis (1925 – 1994) was arguably the greatest Greek composer of the past century. Spanning across 5 decades, his voluminous creative output touches upon many diverse genres and styles, always characterized by a high degree of originality, sensitivity and expressiveness.

Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis (1925 – 1994)

Hadjidakis achieved international fame with his Never on Sunday, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1960 (a first for a foreign-language picture). The song has been covered in various languages ever since (from Yiddish to Cantonese) and its popularity does not seem to be waning, as testified by more recent versions such as the one by Pink Martini.

While in New York City, where he was living since 1966, Hadjidakis recorded Reflections together with the New York Rock & Roll Ensemble. Featuring English lyrics written by the band and Hadjidakis’s highly personal and emotional melodic lines, the result was an unprecedented fusion of classical, pop, rock, and traditional Greek music.

Released in 1970, the album contains some of Hadjidakis’s most captivating music. The elaborate orchestrations, ethereal melodies and gracefulness of the tunes have raised Reflections to a unique place among the composer’s oeuvre.

A rare musical marriage of seemingly disparate elements, the music of Reflections is characterized by hauntingly beautiful and melancholic overtones, that create a distinctive atmosphere of intimacy and warmth between the work and the listener.

The album’s popularity has always remained high and in 1993 it was re-recorded with Greek lyrics written by Nikos Gatsos, with Aliki Kayaloglou on vocals. More recently, the acclaimed Greek band Raining Pleasure released its own interpretation of the work, reaffirming its status as a timeless classic of Greek art music.


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